India needs innovations in clean energy: Ambani

Says, in the next two decades, country’s per capita energy needs will more than double

By   |  Published: 21st Nov 2020  8:38 pm
GREEN PUSH: Ambani says disruptive solutions in renewables, low carbon and carbon recycle technologies will make India an economic superpower.

Ahmedabad: India needs disruptive solutions in renewable, low carbon and carbon recycle technologies, as well as breakthroughs in renewable energy and innovations in energy storage and utilisation to achieve the twin goals of becoming an economic and a clean-and-green energy superpower, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Saturday.

Ambani, who is also the president of the Board of Governors of Gandhinagar-based Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay University (PDPU), said in his convocation address that he foresees an “explosive and exponential growth” in the Indian economy in the post-COVID era.

The country will find a place in the top three economies of the world within a couple of decades, he said. “By the middle of the century, the world will use twice as much energy as we use today. In the next two decades, India’s own per capita energy needs will be more than twice as much as today,” Ambani said.

Therefore, he said that India is required to simultaneously pursue two goals: to become an economic superpower, and to become a clean and green energy superpower. “To achieve these twin goals, we need disruptive solutions in renewables, low carbon and carbon recycle technologies. We need breakthroughs in renewable energy sources such as green and blue hydrogen,” he added.

Further, Ambani said that the country needs great innovations in energy storage and utilisation. He was addressing the graduating students at the 8th convocation of PDPU organised via video conferencing, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest.

To the graduating students worried about the uncertainties created by the post-Covid situation, he advised them to venture out with supreme hope and confidence. “The future is very bright for India. This is our ancient nation that has faced many adversities in the past and has emerged stronger each time. This is because resilience is in the very DNA of Indian people and Indian culture. In the post-Covid era, I clearly foresee explosive and exponential growth in the Indian economy,” the RIL chief said.

Within a couple of decades, India will be among the top three economies of the world, he said. “The growth will create unprecedented opportunities and possibilities for young and talented people like you. Indeed, most of these opportunities will be created by young entrepreneurs themselves. I see amongst you as creators of successful start-ups,” he said.

Ambani said that the future of energy is being shaped by unprecedented changes, which are impacting the “future of humanity and our planet”. He said that if Indian masters the synergy between the energy revolution and the fourth industrial revolution, it will surely become “one of the most prosperous nations of the world, an India that guarantees prosperity and well-being” for all Indians.

“The most important question we face is this: can we produce growing amounts of energy we need to sustain our economies without harming the environment, without failing to fulfil our climate change obligations. We must be prepared to answer these questions with a very confident ‘yes,'” he said.

Renewable energy transition impacted coal auction: Ind-Ra

New Delhi: The transition to clean energy sources led to subdued participation in the recently concluded first round of commercial coal mine auction, said India Ratings and Research.

Accordingly, in a report, the agency said that domestic coal mining has opened up at a time when the world is transitioning away from coal as a fossil fuel to cleaner energy sources. “Hence, participation from the players in the recently concluded first round of commercial coal mine auction has remained limited,” the report said.

In the first round of commercial coal mines auction a total of 19 mines have been allocated to the bidders. These mines have an estimated annual output production of 51 million tonnes (mt) with total reserves of 3,045 mt.

“Globally, the funding sources to fossil fuel has declined as large financial institutions and equity investors have stayed away from the sector. Additionally, the awarding of mines is just the first step and multiple challenges will still remain before the commercial production commences at these mines.”

Historically, the report cited a gap of three-to-seven years between the awarding of mines and the commencement of production. “Thus, Ind-Ra believes the benefit from the auctioned mines would only be visible after a considerable time gap,” Ind-Ra said.

According to the report, global players did not participate at all in the first round of auction, despite the government of India (GoI) allowing 100 per cent foreign direct investment in commercial coal mining. “Ind-Ra expects the participation of international players in coal auctions to remain weak in the future as well, owing to the overall transition towards cleaner fuels from fossil fuels,” the report projected.

During 2019, the share of renewables globally increased by 176 gigawatt (GW) yoy to 2,537GW and is likely to increase to 3,500GW-3,800GW by 2025, as per the International Energy Agency. Additionally, large global lending institutions have pledged to reduce their exposure to fossil-fuel lending by 2030.

“This move has made it difficult for investors to secure funding for setting up new coal-based power plants and the development of coal mines,” the agency highlighted. “The quality of domestic coal, as reflected through calorific value and ash content, is significantly inferior than international traded coal, hence, there exists limited export potential for the output produced.”

Besides, the report pointed out the low interest shown by the domestic private sector as only 19 mines could be auctioned out of the 38 on the block. “Moreover, few very large mines like Chhendipada, Kurloi (A) North, Machhakata, Brahmanbil-Kardabahal, North Dhadu with average annual production of around 15mt received one or no bids and hence, were not eligible for being awarded,” it added.


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